The citywide contest is accepting submissions through September 7.
While the circumstances aren’t exactly preferable, dining out on streets and patios in Chicago during the summer ain’t so bad. You got a warm sun, possibly a pleasant breeze, and fresh air to complement your bottomless brunch.
However, in the last stages of summer, Chicago is gradually approaching the threshold of bitter cold weather that’s not exactly inviting for outdoor diners. The $5000 question is, how do we make it so? It’s a question that Chicago has yet to find an answer. Such is the case, the Windy City is holding a public contest to find its solution.
With indoor dining still off the table, the city wants to continue its support of bars, cafes, and restaurants during the pandemic with outdoor dining available in the fall and winter months.
“We are asking our community members to come together and think creatively about how we can make outdoor dining feasible in the winter,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Chicago has teamed up with IDEO design firm, BMO Harris Bank, and the Illinois Restaurant Association by designing a contest with three separate categories/solutions which:
- encourage outdoor dining during cold weather months that is safe for all parties
- privilege outdoor dining experiences over delivery or take out
- relate to “physical space as well as operations/service“
Submissions will be accepted through the IDEO website until 11:30 pm PT on September 7, with cash prizes of $5000 in for each category. Winning submissions will be announced in mid September.
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[Featured image: @melaniemcclusky]